The Republic of Ireland, a predominantly Roman Catholic country, has agreed to a 2015 public vote on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
The referendum was proposed to the coalition government by the Constitutional Convention in June, giving the government four months to consider.
Same-sex civil partnerships have been available since January 2011, but the country has yet to vote on marriage equality.
Unfortunately, despite this huge step for LGBT campaigners, not only will it not take place until 2015, but the Catholic Church plans to campaign against it.
Catholic Bishop Denis Nulty said in a statement, “the Church regards the family based on marriage between a woman and a man as the single most important institution in any society.”
He then went on to say that the Catholic Church “will seek with others to reaffirm the rational basis for holding that marriage should be reserved for the unique and complimentary relationship between a woman and a man from which the generation and upbringing of children is uniquely possible.”
Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore, on the other hand, supports the referendum; when speaking to the Irish Times, he said, “It is important that we win this referendum. It is an important issue and we know from referenda on social issues before that it is important to do some preparation before [it]is held.”
With over a year to prepare for the referendum, it’s safe to say they have time to promote the concept of same-sex marriage, but it also gives the Catholic Church the opportunity to do the opposite.